Ahead of the 4th of July weekend, Mass. residents traveling to Maine are seeking rapid COVID-19 testing

BOSTON — There’s a last minute rush inundating Massachusetts urgent care clinics ahead of the 4th of July weekend.

The Medical Director at AFC Urgent Care, which has six locations in Massachusetts, said a large portion of that volume is related to travel rules in Maine.

Just in time for the holiday weekend, Maine added New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to the 14-day quarantine exemption list. New Hampshire and Vermont were previously exempted.

Massachusetts and Rhode Island residents are still required to shelter in place once arriving in Maine for 14 days or show a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival.

“We had over 2,000 calls yesterday, and we are doing the best we can to spread those call loads across six clinics,” said Kristina Orio, Medical Director of AFC Urgent Care. “I’m very surprised at the sheer volume of patients that will be traveling north over the holiday weekend.”

Dr. Kristina Orio told Boston 25 News that AFC Urgent Care is doing its best to field every call that comes in for rapid testing.

“Now that we have a little more freedom to travel, I think people want to take advantage of that, and they’re understanding there are significant restrictions to travel.. that they must get tested before they go,” explained Orio.

Maine’s Governor Janet Mills said the restrictions for Massachusetts and Rhode Island are based on “overall cases per million population”. She said the two states still aren’t “in the category of as safe as Maine”.

It’s still unclear if and how Maine will be enforcing travel rules for incoming Massachusetts and Rhode Island travelers.

A Maine State Police spokesperson told Boston 25 News that rumors about a state police checkpoint at the Maine border “are not true”.

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